Under Glass

Under Glass is a promenade production in which the performers are presented within glass containers. At once a museum exhibit, an installation and a medical laboratory, characters appear almost as specimens; a woman in a jam jar, a couple negotiating their space in a bed-like Petri dish, a shy ‘wallflower’ pinned behind a glass panel, a man clock-watching in his office, a woman on the phone in a test tube observing the disintegration of village life.

Sound and light work together to guide the audience through the space and encounter this disparate group of individuals, sometimes coming within inches of the performers.

In Under Glass, people are lifted out of the hurly burly of everyday life – their moments of solitude are exquisitely framed and we see human beings attempting, with varying success, to live within their limits.



Winner of the 2009 Total Theatre Award: Physical and Visual Theatre
Nominated for the 2018 Manchester Theatre Award: Special Entertainment

“The quality of the performance is astonishing and unforgettable.”
★★★★ The Scotsman

“Under Glass is inventive, brilliant, and beautifully haunting.”
★★★★★ What’s On


Directed by Suzy Willson
Music by Paul Clark
Design by Sarah Blenkinsop
Lighting by Hansjörg Schmidt
Poetry by Alice Oswald
Co-produced with Fuel

2017 tour cast:
Elisabeth Schilling, Hayley Carmichael, Maëva Berthelot, Riccardo T., Sam Coren, Sarah Cameron, Sachi Kimura, Silvia Mercuriali

Previously performed by:
Angela de Castro, Olwen Fouéré, Leo Kay, Sachi Kimura, Silvia Mercuriali, Ramona Nagabczynski, Ragnhild Olsen, Jason Thorpe, Joy Constantinides, François Testory

Supported by
Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, British Council and BAC.

Commissioned by
Sadler’s Wells

Photo credit: Manuel Vason

Performed at

Under Glass has been performed in different formations since 2007.

End of The World Cabaret first performed at BAC, May 2007.
Spectator and Bottled performed at Back to Front Gala, Sadler’s Wells, September 2007.
Jam Jar at the Wellcome Collection, November 2007.
Wallflower at The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, February 2008 (with Freddie Opoku Addaie).
Spectator and Bottled at Live Screen, Sadler’s Wells, March 2008.
Wallflower, Test Tube and Jam Jar at SPACE UK British Council Showcase, La Laboral, Gijon, Spain, March 2009
Full production, Sadler’s Wells off-site at Village Underground, May 2009.
Wallflower, Jam Jar, Office Block, End of The World Cabaret at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, McEwan Hall Basement (as part of the British Council’s Plats Du Jour), August 2009.
British Dance Edition 2010, Stans Café February 2010.
Bristol Old Vic, November 2010.
The Nuffield, Southampton, November 2010.
The Arts at Dartington, November 2010.
South East Dance at The Basement, Brighton, November 2010.
The Lowry, Salford, October 2017
Sadler’s Wells presents at Hackney Showroom, London, October 2017
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton, November 2017
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, November 2017